Tuesday, December 13, 2011

JAMES BOND • SERIES DESIGN


Earlier this year I was asked by Steve Marking – Art Director at Orion Publishing – if I would like to pitch some ideas alongside a handful of other designers and their in-house team for a relaunch of John Gardner's James Bond Novels. I bit his hand off of course. 

John Gardner was approached by the estate of Ian Fleming in late 1980 to see if he would consider writing a new James Bond story. After initial hesitation he accepted the challenge and went on to write sixteen 007 adventures between 1981 and 1996, including Goldeneye and Licence to Kill. Orion are reprinting the entire backlist over the next eighteen months to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Gardner's first 007 outing.

I came up with three quite different approaches to pitch to Orion, two of which were, in retrospect, fairly clich├ęd rehashings of familiar Bond themes – wealthy super-villains, silver, gold, a smudge of sex. Not something I normally design and almost certainly not something I would pick up in a bookshop. The third approach which had been vaguely forming in my head right up until the day before the deadline is what you see here – the kind of thing that I would be drawn to if browsing a bookstore and fortunately the exact thing Orion and Ian Fleming Publications were looking for in the redesign.


They'll be printed on uncoated stock with a clear foil 'varnish' to the key elements. I'll post the rest as and when they are approved.

You can read more about John Gardner and his Bond days at the official site run by his son Simon: www.john-gardner.com


9 comments:

Ian Shimkoviak said...

Oooh! Fucking big congrats on that one man! What a fun assignment and solution. Has the vibe of parika's work for http://www.lesallusifs.com/

The printing you mention seems terrific too. It'll have a totally different impact. Awesome.

Dan Mogford said...

Thanks Ian, was a lot of fun to work on! I haven't seen those Les Allusifs before, they're pretty amazing, thanks for the pointer, Dan

John Cox said...

I love these covers. Thank you for posting this. Hadn't seen that Win, Los or Die yet.

Dan Gale said...

Dan, the US cover art for these differs very slightly (the skull's flame has been redrawn, the colours are different on Icebreaker etc). Did you do the US art too and, if so, why the subtle changes?

Dan Mogford said...

Hi Dan, Well spotted! I licensed my designs to the US publisher so any tweaks have been made by them.

Dan Gale said...

I see. Hmm, that's very interesting. I like these new covers, they are very uniform, encouraging one to collect the entire series. I would be interested to see your initial pitch that was rejected...!

Dan Mogford said...

Thanks Dan – I'll have to see if the publisher is happy for me to share. D

simon gardner said...

As a fellow graphic designer (cut my design teeth in publishing) I hope you do not mind if I cross promote your work via the John Gardner Facebook page. Also I would like to link with www.john-gardner.com if you would like. Great job on the jackets my late Father would have approved!

Simon Gardner

Dan Mogford said...

Wow, thank you Simon that's really nice to hear.
Happy with any cross-promotion too of course!